Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Penalties cost South Florida Bulls in loss at Ball State

TAMPA — How damaging were USF's 11 penalties for 112 yards in its 31-27 loss Saturday to Ball State?

Consider the Bulls' 99-yard touchdown drive to take the lead with four minutes remaining. Impressive as that sounds, the Bulls piled up 134 yards of offense on the drive, overcoming 35 yards in flags — two holding penalties and a personal foul — after crossing midfield.

"Penalties will kill a team. It's that simple. If you have penalties, you're hurting yourself, you're giving the other team yardage, momentum, all of that," said Bulls RB Demetris Murray, who was flagged 15 yards for a leg whip on that drive and admitted he committed the foul. "If we want to be what we want to be, we can't have penalties. We can't have stupid third-down penalties, we can't have penalties on first down. We just can't have them. … We're hurting ourselves. That's why we're not winning ball games."

In the end, USF couldn't overcome its penalties — after Ball State drove 75 yards for the go-ahead touchdown, the Bulls' final flag — a personal foul on senior TE Jeff Hawkins on the kickoff — backed them up to their 13-yard line.

Defensively, penalties were part of the problem, as USF gave Ball State two first downs, contributing to the team's continued struggles to get off the field on third down.

"We've got to get better on third downs. Obviously, penalties are a part of it," defensive coordinator Chris Cosh said. "We can't give them free first downs again, and we did that. We've got to perform better."

USF entered the game second in the Big East in penalties, averaging eight for 68 yards, but the team reset its season high for penalty yardage and came within two of the high for flags.

"It's unfortunate that penalties seemed to rear their ugly heads again," coach Skip Holtz said. "We're not very disciplined, especially some key plays we had today. … In a game where one or two plays make the difference, you have 11 penalties for 100 yards … it makes it very difficult to win."

IMPROVED: USF tweaked its offensive line, moving senior LG Mark Popek to left tackle, where he started all of last season, and inserting senior Damien Edwards at left guard. The line played well, clearing the way for a balanced offense that had 13 first downs rushing and passing while allowing no sacks.

DEPLETED: USF's secondary had two starters make their first college start in CB Joshua Brown and S Fidel Montgomery, with regular starters Kayvon Webster (knee) and JaQuez Jenkins (back) playing only a handful of plays. S Mark Joyce was also limited but had seven tackles, the most of any defensive back.

THIS AND THAT: Ball State's announced crowd at Scheumann Stadium was just 16,397, marking the first time the Bulls have played to fewer than 20,000 since a 2008 trip to Florida International. … Freshman CB Chris Bivins played for the first time, becoming the sixth true freshman to play this season. He had one tackle. … DT Luke Sager had a career-best eight tackles, while LB Michael Lanaris led the team with 10 total tackles. … USF hadn't lost a nonconference game to a non-BCS opponent in its previous 44 chances, going back to a 2001 loss at Utah.

Penalties cost South Florida Bulls in loss at Ball State 09/22/12 [Last modified: Sunday, September 23, 2012 12:29am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Buccaneers WR Mike Evans previews 2017-18 NBA season, predicts Warriors will be dethroned

    Bucs

    Tampa isn't the greatest basketball market. In fact, it's just about the worst.

    Mike Evans and Jameis Winston celebrate after connecting for a touchdown against the Bears in September. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  3. Lightning's Steve Yzerman enjoying Nikita Kucherov's scoring run

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, of Russia, celebrates after scoring a goal on the New Jersey Devils during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  4. Bucs journal: Offense needs to get off to a faster start

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The past two games have seen the Bucs offense muster furious rallies in the fourth quarter of losses, with 229 yards against the Patriots and a franchise-record 27 points against the Cardinals.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  5. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues

    Bucs

    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]